Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. Kayaking and Canoeing are also known as†paddling. Kayaking is generally differentiated from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle. A kayak is defined by the International Canoe Federation (the world sanctioning body) as a boat where the paddler faces forward, legs in front, using a double bladed paddle. Almost all kayaks have closed decks, although there are many sit-on-top kayaks which are growing in popularity, as well as inflatable kayaks which come without decks but which have air chambers surrounding the boat. A canoe is defined as a boat where the paddler faces forward and sits or kneels in the boat, using a single bladed paddle. Canoes can be closed deck or open deck.
Canoeing is an outdoor activity that involves a special kind of canoe. Open canoes may be 'poled' (punted), sailed, 'lined and tracked' (using ropes) or even 'gunnel-bobbed'. In modern canoe sport, canoes and kayaks are classified together, although these watercraft have different designs, and historical uses. Both canoes and kayaks may be closed-decked.
White River Rafting
Rafting or white water rafting is a challenging recreational outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid-1970s. It is considered an extreme sport, as it can be dangerous.
Stand Up Paddling (SUP)
Stand up paddle surfing (SUP), or in the Hawaiian language Hoe he'e nalu, is an emerging global sport with a Hawaiian heritage. The sport is an ancient form of surfing, and reemerged as a way for surfing instructors to manage their large groups of students, as standing on the board gave them a higher viewpoint. This increased visibility of what was going on around them such as incoming swell. Surfers have converted because of the versatility of the new sport. Stand up paddle boarding offers surfers the ability to catch more waves in a set, as well as offering a better view of incoming sets.
Source: Wikipedia
Peninsula Paddlers take on the City's waterways

Youth learning to paddle - Photo by Terry Corr (AfriOceans)
Cape Town's waterways are cleaner and more navigable than they were last year, a group of intrepid paddlers concluded after undertaking the third annual Peninsula Paddle on Sunday 3 June.

A group of enthusiastic paddlers aged between 14 and 70, led by route pioneers Kevin Winter and Alistair Lee, set off at dawn from Muizenberg on the Indian Ocean on canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle (SUP) boards and navigated through a labyrinth of vleis, canals and rivers to Woodstock Beach on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, before entering the Milnerton Lagoon and finishing at the old wooden bridge.

The colourful annual event, initiated in 2010, seeks to raise awareness about the importance of the many waterways connecting the city's 3.7 million residents in a spirit of goodwill and celebration, under the theme 'Take back the City's waterways'. The event attracted a core group of about 23 paddlers, with the number of participants swelling to 42 along the Zandvlei stretch of the route. It took the paddlers nine and a half hours to complete the 27km route which meandered through nature reserves, light industrial areas, recreational areas, residential estates and marinas.

While participants were impressed with the rich variety of birdlife at Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve and Princess Vlei, they cautiously made their way through the connecting canals between these vleis where used nappies, building rubble, old curtains and tyres replaced birds and reeds. Many of the residents who spoke with paddlers along the way expressed their discouragement over the attitudes of some residents who continue to throw rubbish and waste over their property walls into the canal system.

While it is evident that there is still much work to be done to drastically improve the state of our Peninsula waterways, the paddlers were encouraged to see some of the recent progress in terms of river rehabilitation work undertaken by the City of Cape Town and various groups and individuals.

Louise Stafford of the City's Invasive Alien Species Management Programme, who supported the event, stated that large tracts of the alien-invasive water hyacinth that previously blocked sections of the route have been removed since February this year, particularly in the area between Athlone and Salt River. This rehabilitation activity forms part of the aquatic weed clearing work that has been done through the Kader Asmal Project which has also resulted in skills development and job creation, with several river wardens having now been appointed to control alien vegetation along two-kilometre tracts of the Liesbeek and Black rivers.

Water samples taken at Princess Vlei and Zandvlei by Dr Kevin Winter, lead researcher in Urban Water Management at UCT, showed only trace elements, barely detectable - an improvement on last year's results. Says Winter: As citizens, we are all connected to these waterways and the quality of these waterways affects not only the environmental health of our City, but also the opportunities they offer. The citizens of Cape Town will know that they have taken back the city's waterways only when it is safe to do. Then they can remove their protective safety masks (worn along certain stretches of the route) and paddle in waters that do not pose a health risk.

As part of the event's awareness-raising programme along the route, several environmental groups and a local forum organised a series of activities at Princess Vlei for learners from four local Lavender Hill schools. Learners enthusiastically paddled around the vlei in inflatable boats and also heard about the significance of aquatic ecosystems, the history of the vlei and pending threats to the area. Poems were read, rap songs created, stories told and trees planted as part of the celebrations. The activities at Princess Vlei served to highlight the importance of wetlands, waterways and recreational spaces in this area of natural beauty and local heritage which is currently threatened by development.

Endurance swimmer, maritime lawyer and environmental campaigner Lewis Pugh ('The Human Polar Bear') joined the group on the final leg of the paddle. He voiced concern about the large number of plastics emitted from storm water drains and rivers into the ocean. Pugh said that these journeyed deep out to sea and were a hazard to seabirds while also being an eyesore.

Also joining the colourful flotilla was veteran hard line investigative journalist and Carte Blanche presenter, Derek Watts. The award-winning programme is expected to highlight the plight of the city’s waterways in a future episode of the popular television programme.

The event also attracted the support of councillors from areas through which watercourses flowed, including Ward 72 Councillor for Grassy Park, Steenberg and Southfield, Jan Burger; Ward 58 Councillor for Rondebosch, Mowbray, Rosebank and Claremont, Councillor Matthew Kempthorne and Ward 49 councillor for the Athlone Area Councillor Suzette Little.

The spirit of the event was overwhelmingly positive, festive and educational. Even paddlers who experienced challenges, such as a punctured inflatable boat, retained their sense of humour to the very end.

Peninsula Paddle 2012 was collaboratively organised and supported by a number of individuals and organisations, including Friends of the Liesbeek, Zandvlei Trust, AfriOceans, BEN (Bicycling Empowerment Network), the Princess Vlei Forum, Gravity Adventures, the City of Cape Town's WasteWise programme, SANBI, the Southern African Young Water Professionals (Western Cape) and WESSA.

Details of the 2013 Peninsula Paddle event will be announced via media and published on the website closer to the time. Visit

Peninsula Paddle is now an annual Cape Town event, held to coincide with World Environment Day (5 June) celebrations each year. The event aims to raise awareness of major social and environmental concerns that affect the Cape Peninsula, to highlight the need for rehabilitation; and to encourage communities to change the way in which waterways are utilised. The first paddle was pioneered by Thomas Cousins, Kevin Winter, Alistair Lee and Trevor Johnston on 23 May 2010 who paddled through the intricate network of waterways stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. The idea was to raise awareness about the waterways while collecting water samples at various points along the way. Never before had this been attempted.
McGregor firm favourite after race four
Durban - Paddling sensation Hank McGregor (Team Best 4 Kayak Centre) exploited the magnificent conditions on KZN's South Coast perfectly as he eased to victory in the Hansa 5 Beaches surfski race, his third consecutive win in this year's Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series. Since his delayed start to the this year's series after missing out on the opening encounter due to international commitments McGregor has been in lethal form and Sunday's twenty-one kilometer shootout from Wydenham to Amazimtoti was no different as he eased across the line three minutes ahead of Barry Lewin (Team Jeep/Varsity College) and Luke Nisbet. This is always such a great race and it's definitely one of my favourite races on the surfski calendar but it can still be pretty tricky with all the ins and outs at the different beaches. Anything can happen in the waves and here on the South Coast the surf is particularly powerful so if you get it wrong it really can cost you, said McGregor. Fortunately though I managed to get away really well and had a really clean race up until Warner beach where I wore a couple waves on the head which woke me up a bit and got me going again to the finish. Conditions were great out there today and it was great to be able to do the proper 5 Beaches course again for the first time in a while. I really enjoy this race and wish there were a couple more races like it, he added Despite the likes of the van der Walt brothers, Grant and Brandon, Chalupsky brothers, Oscar and Herman and Durban surfski star Matt Bouman all absent from the field the victory was still well-earned by McGregor and one which puts him in firm control of proceedings as the series approaches the halfway mark. It's obviously a pity Grant (van der Walt) couldn't be out there today (due to a lower back injury) and I thought maybe Oscar and Matt might have come out for a bit of a paddle after Molokai last week but it wasn't to be, said McGregor. On this course though it doesn't really matter who you're up against, the ins and outs help keep you pretty motivated all the time and Barry (Lewin) still has a solid race so it was great to get another win under the belt, he added. Despite his best efforts Lewin could do little about McGregor's dominance and crossed the line in a deserved second place, his second podium finish in a row and a result which sees him move into a strong position on the leaderboard with six races to go. Racing like this is as good as it gets in my opinion, said Lewin. Coming from a lifesaving background I absolutely love how this race combines the freedom of being out on the ocean with the challenge of getting in and out of these five beach breaks. It's no secret that I love it down here on the South Coast but this race is particularly special to me because of the way it seems brings back a lot of the excitement to the sport of surfski. I managed to get out pretty cleanly at the start and I decided to take a bit of a wider line than Hank to try find a bit more of the ground swell but that definitely didn't work out for me and it wasn't long before Hank had opened up a pretty big lead which was always going to be tough to do anything about. You can't afford to relax in a race like this though because anything can happen when guys are going in and out of the surf at each of the beaches but Hank was faultless today. I'm really happy with how my season's gone so far and with the KZN Champs, which is one of two big races for me this season, coming up in just a couple of weeks' time I definitely feel that everything is all on track for that, he added. Despite a valiant effort from Danica Vorster in the latter half of the ladies race to close the gap between herself and Nicole Russell, Russell managed to narrowly edge Vorster out to notch up her second victory of the series whilst Jenna ward claimed third. The ladies title race looks set to take yet another interesting turn next week as race five sees the hugely anticipated return of Michelle Eder having recently returned from her honeymoon with her husband Oliver Burn. Eder's return adds even more to the ladies' mix which is already interestingly poised as Russell, Vorster, last week's winner Kerry Segal and Jenna Ward, who claimed victory in the opening leg, all sit within touching distance of each other on the log. The Gene Prato show which has dominated proceedings in the first three encounters of the series, was temporarily halted when Clifton pupil Calvin McKie claimed the junior boys category with Prato (Glenwood High) having to settle for second and the Wilson twins, Travis and Tyler (Maritzburg College), claiming third and fourth respectively. The Luke Chalupsky and Shaun Dias steam train which has ruled the roost in the doubles category in recent weeks was also derailed in week four as the powerhouse combination of Daryl Bartho and Scott Rutherford destroyed the rest of the field and cruised to a four minute victory over Chalupsky and Dias. Race five of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series, the Discovery Winkle surfski race, takes place at Winklespruit on the South Coast on Sunday 3 June with racing getting underway at 09h00. More info can be found at
McGregor and Russell outshine the rest in race two
Durban - Team Best 4 Kayak Centre captain Hank McGregor reclaimed his customary place at the top of the pile when he cruised to victory in the Stellar Kayaks surfski race, race two of the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series, on Sunday morning.

After missing the series' opening encounter due to competing overseas last weekend McGregor was head and shoulders above the rest of the remarkably strong elite men's field and after leading from start to finish ambled across the line comfortably ahead of his team mates Grant van der Walt and Len Jenkins.

It's great to start things off with a win having missed last week's race, said McGregor. I didn't know how I was going to feel after all the traveling and then racing at the KZN marathon K2 champs yesterday but I ended up feeling quite good so it was a really good training session and another really good day out for me.

There wasn't much assistance out there but there was a bit of a wave which made going out and coming a bit interesting but otherwise it was just a matter of trying to settle into a rhythm and work hard, he added.

Despite a disastrous start for van der Walt which left the youngster considerably off the pace and with a mountain to climb, a strong second half of the race and a somewhat lucky break at the end saw him edge out last week's victor Jenkins.

I just couldn't get going early on. It felt like I was going nowhere so when we turned at the first can I was only just hanging onto the back of the bunch and when Hank (McGregor) went that was the last time I saw him the whole race, said van der Walt.

I managed to catch Len (Jenkins) towards the end and then fortunately I managed to get onto a wave ahead of him on the way in but it was a bit of a frustrating day because no one wants to just be racing for second place, he added.

Jenkins rounded out the top three however many an interesting tussle ensued as the cream of Durban's surfski paddlers battled it out for the minor placings with Barry Lewin (Team Jeep) claiming fourth and Grant van der Walt’s younger brother, Brandon, finishing fifth.

Having also missed the first of the ten-leg series former East London, now Durban North, resident Nicole Russell narrowly edged out Danica Vorster to claim victory in the ladies race, a result which gets her title hopes off to the perfect start.

I went down to East London to do the Three Sisters which I managed to win which was great but it was awesome to be back in Durban this week and to have won today is fantastic, said a visibly happy Russell.

There weren't too many bumps out there to work with so it was quite a grind but its such an awesome day and it was just great to be out there again.

This (the Discovery Best 4 Surfski Series) is such an awesome event so I'm definitely hoping to be able to all of the remaining races and I would absolutely love to try win the series but we'll just have to see, she added.

With ladies paddling ace Michelle Eder missing the race having tied the knot with ever consistent men's surfski paddler Oliver Burn the day before things were left to young Kingsway High School pupil Kerry Segal and Varsity College student Jenna Ward to fly the flag for the South Coast with the pair finishing third and fourth respectively.

In the junior boys section racing was fierce as the sudden emergence of an abundance of top young paddling talent battled it out for the overall spoils.

Despite having given it his all at the provincial marathon K2 champs the day before young Glenwood pupil Gene Prato raced to a commanding victory ahead of Travis Wilson (Maritzburg College) and Lyall Whitehead (DHS).

Race three of the series, the McCarthy Toyota King of the Bay race, which starts at Stellar Canoe Club inside Durban's harbor and affords paddlers the rare opportunity of paddling out the harbor mouth before finishing at Marine SLC, takes place on Sunday 20 May at 09h00. More info can be found at
Attention to all Paddling & other Inland Water Operators
Deadline for 2012 APA Membership: Cut off date for 2012 payments: 15 May 2012

The Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations 2007, as amended, require that all commercial vessels be surveyed and issued with Local General Safety Certificates. Commercial Paddling vessels fall into the category of commercial vessels. It is the owners' responsibility to ensure that their vessels are presented for survey, as required by the regulations.

APA has been engaged in negotiations with SAMSA (the South African Maritime Safety Authority) regarding the compulsory survey of commercial paddling boats. The boats will be required to undergo an annual survey by SAMSA, who is delegated the responsibility for the administration of the regulations.

SAMSA has agreed to recognise the APA as the Industry Representative Body! Marine Notice 28 of 2011 has been published; this is now SAMSA policy regarding the survey of paddling boats in South Africa that are affiliated with APA. For the first time, APA's Operating Standards have some official status.

Download document: / Marine Notices / MN 28 of 2011

APA is very pleased to inform you that our negotiations with SAMSA have resulted in an arrangement that will benefit all APA operator members.

APA has secured the following option for 2012 registered APA operator members. All paid 2012 members who have signed the updated APA Code of Conduct will qualify for a much smoother and cheaper process. Essentially, a 2 hour visual and paperwork survey which should cost in the region of R780 per hour (+- R1500.00 per survey).

However, for non registered APA operator members a cost of over R 300.00 per boat will be charged by SAMSA.

Take note that all craft used for commercial purposes by you will need to be surveyed on the day, so ensure that all your craft are ready (e.g. fishing platforms, barges, ferries etc. ANY boat that you do not use SOLELY for sport or recreation is considered a commercial vessel and if the Surveyor sees it, he will want to survey it!

All commercial vessels require a Local General Safety Certificate.

The first surveys have already taken place and APA received some feedback regarding their survey recently in the Augrabies area.

Deadline for 2012 APA Membership: Cut off date for 2012 payments: 15 May 2012

Please contact APA for more information and steps to follow: or phone on 079 463 1500

Induna X-fest
This weekend saw South Africa's top pro paddlers heading off to Hazyview for the Induna X-fest 2012. The water level was less than ideal and made for some interesting paddling that resulted in a couple of upsets and some close and very exciting finishes. The weather was awesome and even the 'begintermediates', as they are known, thoroughly enjoyed the event and will be coming back for more next year. The DO IT NOW team would like to congratulate all the winners on their sterling performance, and the organisers for putting on such a great event - big up Induna Adventures! more

Photo Gallery

Induna X-Fest 2012

National Kayak Champs 2011

Paddling MoustASH 2011

Blyde X-Fest


Dusi Canoe Marathon


> RECORD entries for DRAK challenge
> Stretch it to get it
> Hope.Pray.Paddle. Part1-2
> National Freestyle Kayaking Competition
> Christmas Kayaking
> Freestyle Kayaking World Championship 2011
> Winter White Water Madness at MoustASH Festival 2011
> The Ocean Basket 9 Miler+
> 50th Berg River Canoe Marathon
> Pimp your Kayak
> What the Heck is SUP?
> Family Fun - Oar Rafting on the Vaal
> Wall to Wall with Crocs, Hippos and Friends
> Induna X-fest 2011 - Wet, Muddy but FANTASTIC!
> What is Waveski Surfing?
> Blyde Xfest 2011 - Bigger, Better, Best!
> Expedition Africa, a 500km Adventure
> Preparing for the Blyde Xfest
> Hot Days and Hazardous Critters
> Free your Style
> Summer Time on the River
> Paddling in the cold Part 2
> Tripping the Mzimvubu River
> SA Team McCain Adventure Addicts
> Paddling in the cold Part 1
> Conquering the Tsitsa Gorge
> 2010 Blyde Xfest Rewrites Record BOOKS
> Kayaking in Sumatra
> A Dusi Diary
> No Stopping Dream Team at Non-Stop Dusi
> Paddling The world's largest green canyon
> The Drak Challenge - Ant Stott
> Fish River Canoe Marathon
> Should I paddle?
> Dusi Advice from the Pro's and not so Pro's
> Change a Life Academy Martin Dreyer
> Blyde xFest 2009


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